Monday, December 9, 2013

No peppermint hot chocolate for breastfeeding moms this holiday season

It's the wonderful time of the year--the holiday season! And we live in Southern California, where Startbucks remind us the season change with their delicious peppermint hot chocolate, pumpkin spice latte, and other seasonal drinks.

Unfortunately, as a nursing mom, I was warned about peppermint hot chocolate. "It might decrease your milk supply," said my lactation consultant.

Well, I can certainly live without hot chocolate. In fact, I haven't had a bite or a sip of chocolate ever since I did a story about child slave in the chocolate industry two year ago.

But peppermint! I love peppermint. The peppermint candy after a big meal tames my stomach trouble, the peppermint tea in a hard day's night eases my headache, and the peppermint oil on the temples boosts my concentration at work. Not to mention it's holiday season, and I'm having decaf peppermint latte all the time!

So I did a little bit research and found a great resource from of herbs that can and lower milk production:
Herbs that may decrease milk supply Using large amounts of the following herbs and other natural remedies should be avoided while nursing because they have been known to decrease milk supply. The amounts of these herbs normally used in cooking are unlikely to be of concern; it’s mainly the larger amounts that might be used therapeutically that could pose a problem. However, some moms have noticed a decrease in supply after eating things like dressing with lots of sage, sage tea (often recommended when moms are weaning), lots of strong peppermint candies or menthol cough drops, or other foods/teas with large amounts of the particular herb. These herbs are sometimes used by nursing mothers to treat oversupply, or when weaning.

Black Walnut, Chickweed, Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum), Lemon Balm Oregano, Parsley (Petroselinum crispum), Peppermint (Mentha piperita)/Menthol, Periwinkle Herb (Vinca minor), Sage (Salvia officinalis), Sorrel (Rumex acetosa), Spearmint, Thyme, Yarrow
In spite of the decaf peppermint latte I've been drinking, I haven't noticed any milk supply fall. I guess it's okay as long as I'm not using "large" amounts of the herbs. But, still, I decided to take that piece of warning and stop consuming all those herbs.

Yeah, I know, this is the season of candy canes, christmas barks, menthol cough drops, and sage filled stuffing...and I'll have to sacrifice all of these. This is one of those not so fun phases of breastfeeding.

I also know that I've got only one the-precious-first-year with my little one. Next holiday season, I'm sure I'll be drinking peppermint latte, eating sage filled stuffing, and missing all these days when I'm still breastfeeding.

"I'm no fan of peppermint latte."
"Oatmeal! Now we are talking."

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